I just can’t keep up

I’ve been trying to get five minutes to get a post up, but life seems to conspire against me. A quick note, then the photo.

First, check out 6 Million Peopleon flickr. I came across this from Thomas Hawk’s blog post, and the next day made my first contribution. Go take some portraits, post them, and honor those that died.

Now, the photo for the day (or week, as it seems to be lately)

Weight of the worldWeight of the world Hosted on Zooomr

I made a point last week of getting out at lunch and taking some pictures. Actually, I think I only took pictures of this fruit stand. I geotagged it on Zooomr if you’re interested in the actual location. I’ve driven by this place thousands of times and never
stopped. It’s located on a busy commute route, so lots of people drive by. This one time, early in the morning there was a guy leaning on the outside wall, reading a newspaper and I thought, what a cool shot. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera. I went back the next day and took some shots. I’d realized, again, that the things I see everyday hold great shots. This shot isn’t spectacular, but it captures the old time feeling of the fruit stand.

I hope to find a few great shots in my everyday life.

I’ve been lazy

So I haven’t been out shooting, so have had nothing to post. There are a billion excuses, but no one wants to hear them. Bottom line, I need to get out and start taking pictures, even if it’s of the ground.
I have found a couple of sites worth mentioning, and signing up on. The first is JPG Magazine. They run a lot of “theme” contests where you submit photos on a theme, then other members vote. Winners get published in the print version of the magazine. Hundreds of photos get submitted, some of which are so-so, but there are a lot of really stunning photos in every theme. Check out the current themes at http://jpgmag.com/themes/.
The second site, which has a tie-in to JPG Magazine is 9 Rules. There is a photography group that also has members post photos based on a theme. The best picture in the current theme gets a free subscription to the print version of JPG Magazine, courtesy of publicenergy. I actually came across 9 rules via publicenergy’s blog. He has some really amazing infrared shots. Worth checking out.
In other news, I bought a 4 gb compact flash card so I can shoot more RAW photos. I brought my camera with me to work today, so I’ll go out at lunch and find something to take pictures of. Anything. I also recently bought a Gorillapod that I have yet to use to any great extent. Hopefully by Monday I’ll have something to post.
I have been putting some images on Zooomr if you want to see a few newer shots.

Roses in May

Roses in MayRoses in May Hosted on Zooomr

The past few weeks have seen the most spectacular roses I’ve seen in town since I moved here. All over town, rose bushes of every color have had an abundance of flowers. At this point, many are past there prime, but last weekend was great.
I shot this a couple of days ago, thinking it was one of the last flowers to bud on this bush, but today it still looks amazing.

I shot it in RAW and did some adjustments in Picasa; just some brightness and contrast. I really wish I had a real macro lens for my camera. I know I mentioned that before, maybe this summer I’ll get one, or at least before next spring. This year was great for roses, but who know what next year will bring. We didn’t get as much rain as normal, and the weather has been pretty mild, at least until today.

Higher resolution versions are on Zooomr, but no Exif data. Shooting in RAW doesn’t capture the Exif (because Exif is jpeg specific) and I haven’t found a good tool for editing Exif data. I tried a couple, but was unimpressed.

Rust and Sky

Rust and Sky

Another shot I took in RAW format. I really like RAW, now that I’ve actually taken a few shots and played with them a little. I really like how this shot came out. The contrast and lighting really make the shot, for me. I waited until the sun was going down, made a special trip to the location, and took a few shots with the light hitting the building. It came out better than I expected. I used a polarizing filter. This shot is on zooomr, as is the color version. I like the BW version better, but the color one is good too.
I drive by this old feed company on my way to work, and have always thought it was a cool, old building. Sort of an icon of days gone by when this was more of a farming town. There are still a few of these around town, and I hope they stay. Skoot took a great shot of another one. I’d like to eventually do a whole series of pictures of old buildings, specifically from the agriculture industry.

I had to use a smaller image here because it was pushing into the sidebar, but larger versions are on Zooomr.


CrossroadsCrossroads Hosted on Zooomr

The trains stopped running in Petaluma years ago, but the tracks are still around. These tracks are behind a hay and feed supplier that’s still in business, but not using the railroad. This shot is actually the bottom of a wider shot, but the tracks were the best part, so I cropped the image. This was also one of the first shots I took in RAW, and I’m glad I did.

This part of the original was in deep shadow. I had to adjust the brightness and contrast a lot. I could not have done it with a JPG file. The RAW format saved this shot. I was shocked at how much flexibility I had, even in Picasa. Picasa isn’t really designed for photo editing, but it did the trick with this image. I didn’t care much for the original shot, but thanks to some cropping and exposure adjustment, it was a favorite from that day. I’ll be shooting a lot more RAW, and buying a 4 gig compact flash card to make sure I have enough room.
See Zooomr for the geotag and a few other shots I did in RAW the same day.